WELL. Tonight's off to a good start.
It all started when I very intelligently thought, hey, I'm going to test out my sneaky skills, and try to weasel my way aboard a skeleton galleon. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything could go wrong, that's what. Even things I didn't KNOW could go wrong. It was the strangest domino effect of mayhem that I've seen yet. (In the best way possible, really. Just me and my own lack of common sense, and a server with a GREAT sense of horrible timing.)
Which, of course, has left me WAAAAY more amused than anything. Ohhhh my word.
To backtrack JUST a touch, I'd just been collecting gunpowder from a trio of islands in The Wilds, and was JUST about to finish, when, unfortunately, it became apparent that a skelly galleon was floating juuuust a touch away from where I needed to be-... very inconvenient. Oh heavens. Oh no. I'm soloing on a sloop. I didn't want to wait for them to drift away at a snail's pace, though, and certainly wasn't planning on aggro-ing them (at that point). So I thought, hey, how about I take my rowboat, and I just quickly get the very last two buried things I need, and leave? Very, very simple task, considering how small the island in question is. (The Black Sand Atoll. More of a sandbar with trees, if you ask me.)
Well, I got the things, and threw one of them in the rowboat before realizing-... hey. I'm RIGHT HERE, like, within swimming distance of the galleon, and it hasn't noticed me yet. I wonder... do they only aggro on ships? Could I just indeed swim on over, board the ship, and melee it out with the skellies before they see me coming, or before they notice my ship over there? (I think it should be noted that, during this time, they were inching closer to my anchored sloop, which had a considerable impact on my impulsiveness, here.)
This, as it turned out, did NOT happen at all as I'd expected it to.
I was within maybe twenty feet of the ladder when they all aggroed. The music swelled, and they angrily waved their swords around, manning their stations, and-....
Oh heavens. Oh no.
They were picking up speed. They were sailing away. The galleon was sailing RIGHT AT MY SLOOP.
They apparently saw me, decided I was being stupid, and entirely ignored me in order to go bring hellfire down on my stuff instead.
(And you know what? Fair enough.)
I was in so much of a panic that I didn't even think about grabbing the rowboat from the atoll- I just went straight for the merperson.
I don't know how much of this next part I can describe that-- based on the previous patterns of tonight's story-- you probably haven't guessed; for some inexplicable reason, I went all pirate-warlady in that moment, and decided, I can take them.
Adrenaline, probably. And an extreeeeme underestimating of how precise the AI is, paired with faaar overestimating how well I can pilot a sloop under pressure. (...Aside from this week, I haven't sailed the Sea of Thieves in quite a long while. That's my defense.) Sure, my cannon skills aren't bad! (Far better than my on-foot-PvP skills, at least.) But they aren't THAT GOOD, either. I just... have no words for my sheer, fearless whim at that moment.
I could not take them, may it come as no surprise. Not in the slightest. What happened was I ended up getting like, maybe, a dozen cannonballs into their galleon, and they ended up with maybe three times that in my very-not-suitable-for-this-situation vessel.
I should've just turned tail and fled at the first sight of the darned thing, to be honest.
So, how many holes needed dealing with in my ship? If a hole could be there, then a hole there would be.
So, inevitably, I ran out of wood. And, of course, now unable to focus on steering due to the necessity of bailing water (at one point, it was QUITE literally half a second away from sinking), and CERTAINLY no longer able to try and fruitlessly fire stuff at them, I was basically just hoping that I'd run aground on an island (couldn't do ANY more damage than there already was) and hold off there until the skellies sailed out of range again. Or SOMETHING. Anything. Anything to get them off my tail. Maybe I could pile my loot on the shore when it sank, and not having a boat would deter them...? Yeah. That'd work.
But in the present? If you were to compare this situation to anything else, it'd be like manually blowing on the propeller of a helicopter in a weirdly, illogical, yet somehow effective attempt to keep it in the air. It was as close to floating in a mostly-filled bathtub (that also happened to be stocked with a dozen or so gunpowder kegs THAT SOMEHOW MANAGED TO NOT EXPLODE? HOW??? They were just below that little shelf next to the map table! How were they still intact?!) as one could possibly get, and I'll be honest, despite how ludicrously bleak the situation was, I was still having a stinking blast of a time. It was just too darned ridiculous to NOT be fun.
Now, apparently the sea has a LITTLE bit of mercy and/or pity for me, as, believe it or not, during this battle, I'd managed to loop back around to the atoll, despite my steering being akin to that of a drunken pelican.
That very atoll that still had my rowboat on it. The beautiful Black Sand Atoll.
And all I could do was bucket out the water, all the way there. Could only take second-long glimpses at the steering wheel to make sure I wasn't off track.
...I wasn't even sure where the galleon was, at that point.
But what I WAS sure of was that the island was, finally, within safe swimming distance.
And so, as it was, I let my poor, beautiful, tired old ship sank. She deserved the rest. (...During which, she almost drowned me, presumably as an act of revenge. Thankfully, we were in the shallows, so she couldn't drag me under all that deep, and I didn't automatically respawn.)
I wasted no time in the swim over. I grabbed the rowboat, plucked all my stuff from the sea, and landed again on the shores. Hoooh, heavens.
How quiet it suddenly seemed.
I had no idea how far away my ship had respawned, and I didn't really feel like risking leaving everything out in the open- nor did I want to risk a mapless rowboat ride over to wherever the HECK the nearest outpost might've been- so
I decided, hey! I'll just bury all this stuff, and then come back for it!
The only danger in this being the three snakes, also on the island, who made it perfectly clear that they did not particularly like me.
(But, as it is, I don't have the heart to kill snakes, even if they are trying to kill me. Those music-loving little slitherdoodles are too precious. I can just work around them. It wasn't a big deal.)
Two kegs of powder, a humble gift, and a generous gift now done and dealt with, I was feeling pretty good. It was a good start. This was doable.
Suddenly, skeletons. A captain and a few phantoms had, APPARENTLY, spawned on the farthest side of the atoll. Meanwhile, the snakes were still spitting at me, and I didn't have any food on me, I was DYING, and the life-giving island barrels (which HOPEFULLY contained a banana or a coconut or several) were VERY close to the dreaded undead.
Oh heavens. Oh no. It wasn't my time! I couldn't respawn NOW! Not YET! I had things to bury, darn it.
Despite my past failures at common sense, however, a tidy, victorious fight was had, and won!
I gazelled my way around the tiny little mob, reached the barrels, swallowed two coconuts whole-- as we all do, of course-- and fought them off, one by one. A blunderbuss to them! A cutlass to THAT one!
And it was done with.
Renewed with positivity, I returned to the task at hand.
(Also, in this time, I found out that you can only bury so many things next to each-other before the sinking-into-the-ground animation refuses to play. I was wondering if there'd be a limit.)
Now back in the zone where I'd been burying things, I dug my shovel into the ground, deciding it'd be best to move things around-- it wouldn't do if I ran out of space for everything-- only to uncover something that I certainly hadn't put there myself. Ancient gunpowder! And the first time I've ever seen it in-game, to boot! Charmed by this sudden stroke of luck, I decided I'd just bury it again to save myself more hassle. Things definitely seemed to be looking up... for like, half a second, there.
The skeletons, those short-tempered click-clackity jeeeerks, did NOT like the fact that I'd uncovered this, apparently, as they popped out of the ground to give their murderous greetings. I wasn't paying enough attention, however, and subsequently died, without much ado at all. Oh heavens. Oh, NO.
I hadn't finished burying! I had buried like, a fourth of what I'd meant to get underground! I still had SO many more powder barrels to go, and they were all just SITTING THERE on the beach, waiting for some lucky soul to sail by.
Thankfully, however, my ship and I spawned just a bit west of the Old Faithful Isle. Not too far to go at all!
Maybe this wasn't going to be a disaster, after a-... oh. Oh no.
Just as the atoll came into sight, a sting of dramatic music suddenly cued.
White letters began to fill the screen.
The world is changing, new dangers there be
Between boundless sky and treacherous sea
On rolling waves with sails unfurled
Ships come to plunder this new world
Oh HEAVENS, no. It was making me switch servers! AFTER ALL THAT! All that!
I highly doubted the barrels I'd placed would still be there, but... still. After I was done with my exasperated giggling, I had the tiniest smidgeon of hope. Maybe I could still get ALL of my dozen-or-so gunpowder kegs back. Maybe that third gift and that villainous skull I hadn't buried would still be there. Maybe. Just maybe.
So I hightailed it on back-... and, well? There was another skelly captain to greet me, just wading around in the shallows.
But there was no sign of any unburied keg.
Darn it all.
Frustratedly, I put the captain back in the ground, claimed his skull, and marched on over to where I had buried my things. (Once again.)
My shovel sank into the wet sand, and with a thunk... oh. What-....Well. Okiedoke, then.
That hadn't been there before.
It was a stinking Chest of Rage, as unexpected as anything, which-- after I had another very good laugh-- I plonked into the water to keep cool until I was done unburying the things that I had put there.
Onto the next thing, I supposed.
And the next thing my shovel hit, as it so happened, was the keg of ancient black powder.
I had just enough time to glimpse it.
And let me tell you, friends, that glimpse did not last long at all.
I was... very, very, VERY unaware that kegs explode when you unbury them.
When I respawned, it was on the Black Water Enclave, and that's where I'm still sitting.
I suppose the explosion was big enough to blow up my boat off-shore in the shallows, as well, which, honestly, brought even more laughter.
Heavens on HIGH. What even is this session?
As I began typing this, I had every plan to go back to the atoll and, like, AT THE VERY LEAST, pick up that Chest of Rage that was simmering on the shore. But about a stinkin paragraph in or so, what did my screen read? WHAT DID IT STINKIN READ?
The world is changing, new dangers there be-
I've determined that the servers apparently do not consider me a friend tonight.
I might not have any loot after using up one of Larissa's free black powder voyages, but this adventure certainly stinkin is ranked up there with one of the most unfortunately hilarious ones I've ever had. Gosh, I wish I'd recorded. If I'm remembering right, I did take some screenshots, but I doubt they really captured the moments as much as recordings would have.
(At least I have a fun little game of 'go-ahead-and-try-to-guess-which-spots-you-buried-the-other-kegs-in' waiting for me back at the Atoll, assuming that buried treasure stays after the server switches twice on you.)
The lesson to be learned here is that I am not a sneaky person, skeletons are rude, edge-of-your-seat peril is SOMETIMES fun, and that if you ever want a random bit of loot, just go digging around the Black Sands Atoll, and you're bound to find something you didn't put there.